Citrus flavonoid, naringenin, increases locomotor activity and reduces diacylglycerol accumulation in skeletal muscle of obese ovariectomized mice

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Scope:Estrogen deficiency has been associated with central obesity, muscle loss and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women. This study assessed naringenin accumulation in tissues and investigated the hypothesis that naringenin reverses diet-induced metabolic disturbances in obese ovariectomized mice.Methods and results:In study 1, we measured naringenin concentrations in plasma, liver, perigonadal and subcutaneous adipose tissues, and muscle of ovariectomized C57BL/6J female mice after 11 weeks of naringenin supplementation. Naringenin accumulated 5–12 times more in mice fed a 3% naringenin diet than in mice fed a 1% naringenin diet. In study 2, ovariectomized mice were fed a high-fat diet (60 kcal% fat) for 11 weeks and half of the mice were then supplemented with 3% naringenin for another 11 weeks. Dietary naringenin suppressed weight gain, lowered hyperglycemia and decreased intra-abdominal adiposity evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging. Naringenin-fed mice exhibited elevated locomotor activity monitored by infrared beam breaks, maintained muscle mass and reduced muscle diacylglycerol content. Real-time PCR analysis in muscle revealed decreased mRNA level for genes involved in de novo lipogenesis, lipolysis and triglyceride synthesis/storage.Conclusion:Long-term 3% naringenin supplementation resulted in significant naringenin accumulation in plasma and tissues, associated with attenuated metabolic dysregulation and muscle loss in obese ovariectomized mice.

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